Toronto - U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Canada Border Services Agency hosted stakeholder meetings yesterday and today to discuss the joint U.S.-Canada declaration of a shared approach to security, the Beyond the Border Action Plan. (Beyond the Border Action Plan)
Tuesday's stakeholder meeting in Niagara Falls, N.Y. gathered input regarding trade and commercial cross-border activity. Today's meeting in Toronto addressed cross-border travel.
"The Beyond the Border agreement forged by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper is about strengthening and expediting trade and travel between our countries," said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner, Thomas Winkowski. "It's about finding common-sense solutions to our most complicated problems. And it's about extending national security for both of our nations, well away from the border."
"As these joint meetings with stakeholders indicate, we are committed to working with our U.S. partners to bring about greater consistency, efficiency and predictability in the management of our shared border," said Canada Border Services Agency President Luc Portelance. "We understand that business operates in a world where time is money, and where deadlines are vital to integrated, cross-border supply chains. That is why we continue to involve our stakeholders in the implementation of the Beyond the Border Action Plan initiatives to keep the border open to lawful travel and trade."
The Beyond the Border Action Plan consists of 32 separate initiatives. It calls for enhancements to the benefits of programs that help trusted businesses and travelers move efficiently across the border; introduces new measures to facilitate movement and trade across the border while reducing the administrative burden for business; and invests in improvements to our shared border infrastructure and technology. By expediting lawful trade and commerce into and across our shared border, the U.S. and Canada seek to enhance our economic competitiveness, create jobs and support economic growth.
On February 4, 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper announced the United States-Canada joint declaration, Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. It calls for a shared approach to security where both countries work together to address threats within, at and away from our borders while expediting lawful trade and travel.(Joint Declaration)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.